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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Etymology of Vocab #1 (Vocab. #4)

Hey Guys, we’re back with round 4 of blogging! For this vocab. post however, I am going to change things up a bit and look at the etymology of the words that we used in the first post. I think that this will be interesting and we’ll be able to make new connections with the words. However, before we begin let’s do some haiku review of last week’s post to get us thinking.

Haiku Review (My Ghost Story):

Airin was a ghost
Who came to me in the night
All gruesome looking

I have never seen
A ghost before in my life
So I made one up

I am sorry for the
Gruesome image of Airin
But it’s Halloween

Ok, now that we have the creative energy going, let’s dive into some of the words from the first post. You may notice that I am skipping some words, but that’s ok. I am only going to do ones that are interesting that will further our learning. So, to start, let’s look at Sophomoric.

We said that the definition was: Of or relating to a sophomore (Adj.). Now, the etymology is interesting. Sophomoric breaks down into Sophomore, and the suffix ic. Ic comes from middle English and is a word forming element to make adjectives. Ic means "having to do with, having the nature of, being, made of, caused by, similar to,”. So, Ic attached to sophomore means “Of or relating to a sophomore”. Of course Ic goes further back to French and Greek etc., but we’ll not be going back that far. I’ll make it simple and stay with mostly English (If I can). Anyway, now that we know what Ic means, let’s put it into context and find other words with the suffix Ic.

Drastic: Greek drastikós (Active) + ikos (Ic) (Relating to rapid action)
Emphatic: Greek  emphatikós (Indicative, Forceful) + ikos (Ic) (Relating to [characterized] by strong expression)
Poetic: Greek poiētikós (Poet + ikos) (Of or relating to a poet)

There are tons more words that you could find with the suffix Ic, but let’s move on and look at another word on our list. Denigrate.

Our earlier definition of Denigrate was: To say unfair things about someone. So, now to the etymology. Denigrate comes from latin denigratus, which is a past participle of the verb denigrare, which means “to blacken, defame”. The prefix De means “Completely: and nigr (from niger) means “Black”. So, it makes sense to completely blacken or defame. If you were to say unfair things about someone, that would be the equivalent of blackening them or defaming them. Let’s look at some other words with the prefix “De”. Now, while we said that De means completely, its most common meaning is the “removal of something”, or “the reverse of something”. So knowing that, let’s look at some more words.

Deduct: Latin deductus (Brought Down, withdrawn) To take away
Defile: Old French defouler (To trample on, violate) To make foul, dirty, unclean
Decapitate: Late Latin decapitatus, from decapitare (de-”Off”, caput-”head”.) To cut off one’s head.

Let’s move on to another word: Incendiary.

Our definition of Incendiary was: Designed to cause “fires”, create tension. Let’s look at the etymology. Incendiary comes from Latin incendiarius, meaning “causing a fire”. Also, a literal meaning comes from Latin “in”, meaning into, on upon. In is then put with Latin candere, meaning to shine, glow, be on fire. (From candle). So, incendiary means to cause fires, literally. Now let’s look at some other words with the prefix “in”.

Inhibit: Latin inhibitus (To hold in, keep back) To restrain, forbid
Inherit: Old French enheriter (Make heir, appoint as heir) “To receive as if by succession from predecessors”
Insipid: Late Latin insipidus (in-”not”, sapidus-”tasty”) Figuratively “Uninteresting, dull”

Alright, that’s enough for this post. I know that this may seem like a little on the shorter side, but we have covered a lot of words even if you don’t realize it. Including our past vocab words, we covered 12 words in total. And we looked into the etymology of them a little bit. So all in all, we did cover a lot of things. Anyway, that’s it for now, and stay tuned for the next post!

-Jack Goodenough

1 comment:

  1. Stellar. So good! You are learning so much! Do you feel that way?